Results tagged ‘ Tim Bogar ’

Astros narrow search to 3-4 candidates

Astros owner Jim Crane said Tuesday the club has whittled its managerial search to three or four candidates and hopes to be able have the process wrapped up either later this week or early next week. The announcement of the hire will depend on whether the new manager is working for a playoff club.

“It will really depend on the selection we make, how quickly we announce that based upon where the teams are and the candidates we’re talking to,” Crane said. “If they’re in the playoffs, we might have to wait until the playoffs are over.”

Crane said the club has a good feeling about “a couple of candidates,” but said the team is still checking backgrounds and references. He didn’t rule out the idea of any remaining potential candidates having another interview with management.

“We got a very good look at a lot of different people and we learned a lot through the process,” Crane said. “We think the group we have left, any one of them will be a good manager.”

Among the candidate who have interviewed and are still in the hunt are Red Sox bench coach Tim Bogar, Rays bench coach Dave Martinez, Nationals third base coach Bo Porter and Astros interim manager Tony DeFrancesco.

“I’m confident we’re going to get a great manager,” general manager Jeff Luhnow said. “There’s a lot of excellent baseball people that are ready to help the organization. … It’s splitting hairs which one is better than the other. Really, it’s about which one is a better fit for the organization at this point in time given where we’re going.”

Astros hope to pick manager by next week

Astros owner Jim Crane said the club hopes to wrap up its managerial search by the end of next week, but it could be a while before the team is able to announce its next manager.

Crane, who had several of his partners in his hometown on Tuesday for a board meeting, said the Astros have interviewed six candidates to become full-time manager and have two more interviews scheduled. Crane said the final two or three candidates could be brought in for another round of interviews, but some candidates have been ruled out.

“I don’t know when we’re going to announce it,” he said. “We have to figure out the schedule on that. We’re trying to get to a conclusion. It can be a little cumbersome because of the teams [that employ candidates] are in the playoff hunt and we have to be sensitive about the schedule.”

In other words, if the Astros decide to hire a manager who is currently on the staff of a team that makes the playoffs, they’ll have to wait until that team’s season is complete before announcing the choice.

“They wouldn’t come on board until everything’s over,” he said.

Astros president George Postolos and general manager Jeff Luhnow accompanied the Crane to St. Louis, but it’s not known if they were planning to conduct any interviews while here.

“We’re not talking about who we’re interviewing,” Crane said.

What is known is Red Sox bench coach Tim Bogar will interview for the Astros’ full-time managerial opening Wednesday in Tampa, a source told MLB.com. The Red Sox are in the middle of a series against the Rays in St. Petersburg.

Bogar will be the fifth known candidate to interview. Former Padres and Phillies manager Larry Bowa, Nationals third base coach Bo Porter, Rays bench coach Dave Martinez and Astros interim manager Tony DeFrancesco have also interviewed.

But Bowa is out of the running after telling Fox Sports he will not be the next manager of the Astros, saying he and general manager Jeff Luhnow agreed it’s a younger man’s job.

“Jeff and I both were under the understanding that long-term it should be a younger guy — we both agreed on that,” Bowa told the web site. “The interview was really professional. Jeff has his ducks in a row. It’s just going to take some time.”

Crane said he’s pleased with the pool of candidates the Astros have interviewed.

“We’ve gotten to look at some good people,” Crane said. “We’re doing a good job of seeing what we need, who we need and what fits best for us.”

Bogar to interview with Astros on Wednesday

Boston Red Sox bench coach Tim Bogar will interview with the Astros on Wednesday at a location yet to be determined, a source told MLB.com. The Red Sox are in the middle of a series against the Rays in St. Petersburg.

Bogar will be the fifth known candidate to interview for the Astros’ full-time managerial position. Former Padres and Phillies manager Larry Bowa, Nationals third base coach Bo Porter, Rays bench coach Dave Martinez and Astros interim manager Tony DeFrancesco have also interviewed.

Bogar interviewed with the the Astros prior to the 2010 season. The club wound up hiring Brad Mills, who was the Red Sox bench coach.

Bogar has been on the Red Sox staff since the 2009 season and is a former manager in the Astros’ Minor League system. He began his managerial career in 2004 with the rookie-league Greeneville Astros and went 41-26 and won the league title. Bogar managed in Class A Lexington the next year and was named South Atlantic Manager of the Year.

The Indians hired Bogar in 2006, and he led their Double-A Akron affiliate to the Eastern League title and was named the league’s Manager of the Year.

Who would you pick to manage the Astros?

All the interviews and public press conferences are finished, and we know the Astros’ next manager will be one of 10 people. Some have extensive experience in the Majors, some have extensive experience in the Minors and all bring something different to the table.

The Astros were open with the first round of interviews, but now things change. Club officials are taking the search underground, with the next public announcement likely to be the hiring of a manager. GM Ed Wade has set no timetable and MLB doesn’t like announcements to coming during the World Series, so we might have to wait until November to find out who the manager is going to be.

No matter who the Astros pick, don’t expect a quick fix next year. The bottom line is it’s a broken roster that will take a few years to correct. There are too many older players — and  maybe even declining older players — making the lion’s share of the money without many young players coming up. That will change in a few years, but a new manager isn’t going to fix that.

What a new manager can fix is clubhouse chemistry. He can get everyone on the same page. He can get rid of the losing air that took over the clubhouse last year and get the Astros playing inspired baseball again. Let’s be honest. The final two months of the season, every Astros game was the same. They were down by five or six runs early and they’d hit into about three double plays. It was tough to watch.

I wasn’t in the interview room with Wade, president of baseball operations Tal Smith or assistant GMs Ricky Bennett, David Gottfried and Bobby Heck, so I don’t pretend to know how the interviews went or what they thought of certain guys. I can only tell you what I learned from my research about each guys’ background and what I heard in the 10 minutes I spent with the each candidate.

The Astros are definitely looking for a manager with experience, and I think we’re going to see one with Major League experience. After all, they want a manager who will relate well with younger and older players, and I think you need an experienced MLB manager to deal with star players. So I’ve broken down the candidates into three groups. The leaders, the contenders and the long shots.

Again, this is in no way indicative of what the front office is thinking, but it’s what I think. And sometimes I get things right. Now I want to know what you think. Who should be managing the Astros in 2010 from this group?

LEADERS

Bob Melvin: The Astros have to love the fact he managed veteran players to 93 wins in Seattle and a younger Arizona team to the NLCS in 2007. He seems to be the exactly what the Astros want.  

Manny Acta: No one in the group seemed to have as much knowledge about the Astros than Acta, who was signed by Houston at 16 and spent 16 years in the organization as a player, coach and manager. He’s young, bilingual and this would be his dream job. 

Phil Garner: The fact that Garner, the former Astros manager, even got an interview leads me to believe he’s a serious candidate. If anyone can rally a team and fire them up, it’s Garner. He’s been there, done that. Whether that helps remains to be seen. 

Ned Yost: He took a struggling Milwaukee franchise and led them to the playoffs as they got younger and better. Sure, he was fired at the end of the 2008 season, but that was his team in the playoffs.

CONTENDERS

Pete Mackanin: The lasting image I took from Mackanin was him walking off the podium after the interview shocked at how few members of the media there were in attendance. But he has tons of experience doing different things and was highly recommended.

Dave Clark: No one would be shocked if the Astros hired Clark, who got the endorsement of the players after his 13 days as interim manager at the end of the season. But I see him staying on the staff and getting another look during the next go-round. 

Brad Mills: Who doesn’t like Brad Mills? He has a great personality and has tons of experience as a Minor League manager and as a coach in the Majors. He spent six years working under Terry Francona, a person Ed Wade respects mightily.

LONG SHOTS

Tim Bogar: Bogar is still young and up-and-coming, which could hurt his chances here. I think he’s going to make a good manager someday, but the experience handling star players just isn’t there.

Randy Ready: I just can’t see the Astros hiring someone with so much lack of experience at the Major League level when they have so many other experienced candidates. His time will come eventually. 

Al Pedrique: The Astros’ Minor League field coordinator knows the organization well, but will players listen to him?  

 

A look at managerial candidates Tim Bogar and Brad Mills

The Astros will finish their first round of managerial interivews today at Minute Maid Park by visiting with Boston Red Sox coaches Tim Bogar and Brad Mills. Neither man has managed in the Major Leagues before, but both have had success managing in the Minors and both come highly recommended.

Astros general manager Ed Wade hasn’t yet said when the second round of interviews will take place or how candidates will be involved from the initial group of 10, but that will probably happen later this week when owner Drayton McLane returns to town.

Here’s a quick look at Bogar and Mills: 

     Tim Bogar
     Age: 45
     Hometown: Indianapolis, Ind.
     College: Eastern Illinois.
     Most recent job: Currently first -base coach for Boston Red Sox.
     Previous Major League managing experience: None.
     Major League managing record: None.
     Minor League managing experience: Spent four seasons as manager in the Minor Leagues with Cleveland (2006-07) and the Astros (2004-05) and went to the playoff in three of those seasons. Led Double-A Akron to the Eastern League title in ’06 and ’07 and was named the league’s Manager of the Year in ’06. He was named Manger of the Year in the Appalachian League in 2004 in his first year of managing at Class A Greeneville. The next year, he led Class A Lexington to an 81-58 record, the best record in the South Atlantic League.
     Minor League managing record: 289-200.
     Playing experience: An infielder who spent nine years in the Major Leagues with the New York Mets, the Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers, Bogar hit .228 with 24 homers and 161 RBIs in 701 career games. He started a career-high 82 games at shortstop for the Astros in 2000 whiles sharing time with Julio Lugo.   
    Did you know: Bogar played all nine positions in an exhibition game for the Mets against Triple-A Norfolk in 1996?
     What GM Ed Wade said: “When this process started, a lot of people spoke very favorable of Tim. I don’t know him, but certainly there are multiple people, including people on our interview committee and [president of baseball operations] Tal [Smith] and others, that felt Bogar fit the profile extremely well. Despite the fact he hasn’t managed in the big leagues, they felt the experience they had with him and dealing with players [was positive].”

     Brad Mills
     Age: 52
     Hometown:  Exeter, Calif.
     College: College of the Sequoias/University of Arizona.
     Most recent job: Currently bench coach for the Boston Red Sox.
     Previous Major League managing experience: None.
     Major League managing record: None.
     Minor League managing experience: Mills managed 11 seasons in the Minor Leagues in the Cubs (1987-92), Rockies (1993-96) and Dodgers (2002) organizations, moving into managing immediately upon the completion of his playing career. He led the Rockies’ Triple-A club in Colorado Springs to the playoffs in 1994 and Pacific Coast League title in 1995. He last managed in 2002, when he guided the Dodgers’ Triple- A Las Vegas affiliate to a club-record 85 wins the PCL’s Southern Division championship.
     Minor League managing record: Unavailable.
     Playing experience: Appeared in 106 career games over four seasons, all with the Montreal Expos (1980-1983). He hit .256 with one homer and 12 RBIs in 168 at-bats.    
     Did you know: Mills was Nolan Ryan’s 3,509th career strikeout victim, lifting Ryan past Walter Johnson as baseball’s all-time strikeout king in 1983?
     What GM Ed Wade said: “I’ve always had great respect for Brad. [Boston manager] Terry Francona made a point of calling me when the search began and gave a strong endorsement for Millsy and he got a strong endorsement from [Boston general manager] Theo Epstein. Despite the fact he hasn’t managed the big-league level, everyone knows he’s got tremendous experience working as [Francona’s] right-hand guy in Philadelphia and Boston and managed in the Minor Leagues.”

 

Astros have six confirmed candidates for manager job

The names are slowly coming in. The Astros will begin interviewing managerial candidates Wednesday, and Red Sox coach bench Brad Mills and first base coach Tim Bogar have been given permission by the Red Sox to interview with the Astros. Interim manager Dave Clark will be among two men to interview Wednesday, and former Washington manager Manny Acta has already acknowledged he will interview.

Also, former Arizona manager Bob Melvin told MLB.com on Monday he will interview later this week. Wade has confirmed Acta, Mills, Bogar, Clark and Astros Minor League field coordinator Al Pedrique as candidates.

The Astros will try to interview two candidates per day beginning Wednesday and hope to finish the first round of interviews by later this week. Wade, president of baseball operations Tal Smith, assistant general managers Ricky Bennett, David Gottfried and Bobby Heck and special assistant to the general manager Enos Cabell will be involved in the first round of interviews. Owner Drayton McLane is scheduled to get involved later in the process.

Wade has been making calls to try to gather more information about the men who will interview, but he’s looking forward to talking to the candidates in person

“We’ll have very specific questions about how he goes about organizing Spring Training, how he interacts with coaches and the authority he gives to coaches and things of that nature – basically walking through what one would expect a manager’s responsibilities to be,” he said. “And we’ll ask some direct questions about how they go about things in each of those areas.”

 

A look at some possible manager candidates

The Astros could begin contacting potential managerial candidates later this week once owner Drayton McLane returns to Houston from a business trip to Washington, D.C. Gauging from conversations I’ve had with general manager Ed Wade and others in the organization, I’m more and more convinced the Astros will bring in a manager with Major League managing experience.

Because the 2010 club is again going to be made up of mostly veteran players, Wade wants a manager with experience managing in the Minors or Majors and experience on a Major League coaching staff, but I get the feeling we’re not going to see a first-timer on the job. Wade has three pages of names he plans to whittle down to 10 at some point in the near future.

Whether Dave Clark, who certainly has the players’ endorsement for manager, fits their bill remains to be seen, but he is a serious candidate. Clark could be a terrific manager, but he may not get the opportunity here. Or he might. But I still envision him as a long shot to get the job on a full-time basis.

Not being privy to the Astros’ wish list and seeing very few candidates having been tied to the job publicly, I’ve put together a list of some potential managerial candidates you could be reading about in the coming days. In other words, these are men who would likely have interest in the job, but whether the Astros have interest in them remains to be seen:

  • Ned Yost: Yost, 54, helped the Brewers return to contender during his a managerial stint in Milwaukee that began in 2003 and ended in the final days of the 2008 season, with the Brewers on their way to their first playoff berth in 26 years. His career record is 457-502.
  • Willie Randolph: Randolph, 55, has gone on record and expressed an interest in the job. He was Yankees base and bench coach for 11 years and took over as manager of the Mets in 2005 in his first-ever managerial job. He led the Mets to within one game of the World Series in 2006 and then to their historic collapse at the end of 2007. He was fired in the middle of the 2008 season, and is currently bench coach with Milwaukee. His career record is 302-253.
  • Jim Fregosi: A former Gold Glove player during a distinguished Major League career, Fregosi, 67, managed the Phillies to the 1993 World Series and is currently a top scout with the Braves. He managed the Angels (1978-1981) and won an AL West title, guided the White Sox (1986-88), Phillies (1991-1996) and Blue Jays (1999-2000). His career record is 1,028-1,095. He interviewed in 2001 before the Astros hired Jimy Williams and he has deep ties to Ed Wade.
  • Tim Bogar: Bogar, 42, is the first base coach for the Red Sox and former Astros infielder. He started his managerial career in 2004 with the Greeneville of the Appalachian League and won the championship en route to being named Manager of the Year. He was named Manager of the Year in the South Atlantic League Lexington Legends in 2005 before leaving the organization. In 2006, he was named Eastern League Manager of the Year with the Double-A Akron Aeros. His career managerial record in the Minors is 250-168.
  • Lloyd McClendon: The hitting coach for the Detroit Tigers is now available after his team was bounced by Minnesota in a one-game playoff Tuesday. McClendon, 50, went 336-446 as manager of the low-budget Pirates from 2001-2005. He played seven years in the Major Leagues and was a career .244 hitter.
  • Manny Acta: A popular figure in the Astros organizations from his years as a player and a coach in the system, he managed the Washington Nationals for 2 1/2 years and sent 132-198. He previously served as third base coach for Montreal under Frank Robinson in 2002-2005 and was third base coach for the Mets under Willie Randolph until the end of the 2006 season.
  • Eric Wedge: The 2007 American League Manager of the Year, Wedge went 561-573 in seven years as manager of the Cleveland Indians and won the AL Central title in 2007. Wedge, 41, is close friends with Jeff Bagwell, who’s an assistant to Ed Wade.
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